– 30 Days of Nowhere: Catherine Wheel – Notes

Posted on

Catherine Wheel
Here’s Catherine Wheel one more time to round out the week:


If you want to know a little bit about where this song came from, check this out (SB – this is for you):

Catherine Wheel was written on a late, lamented Baby Taylor acoustic, which is a guitar built for the little people that has a very distinctive sound. Not the best for jam sessions or singalongs, but excellent for recording. Mine traveled to multiple continents and endured drenchings with the indigenous alcohol of several different countries before being flattened in a tragic rafting accident involving naked plus-sized graphic designers (all true!).
However, the instrument that was really responsible for this song is the Rhodes electric piano. Catherine Wheel was just a song snippet that I had banging around for years until I came up with a basic but propulsive Rhodes riff, which led directly to the “roll on, sister roll on” section of the chorus, which unlocked the whole song.
Of course, that riff didn’t even make the final recording. Songwriters are ruthless.
So are engineers. At one point in this song’s development, I took it to a studio run by a friend of a friend in Manhattan, near Union Square, intending to get some advice and maybe even a final mix out of the session. The mix engineer got about half an hour into cleaning up all my archetypal home recordist mistakes – muddy low end, clicks and pops, ham-handed bass edits – stopped the playback, and in his inimitably sensitive and encouraging way said, “This sucks. Go home and fix it.” Words to grow on.

Got Something To Say?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *